Worldwide sports star? Check.
Top male model in the world? Check.
Gorgeous, fashionable wife. Check?
Advertising guru? Ok, it might be a stretch to call David Beckham an ad guru, but after H&M’s near perfect campaign execution during and after the Super Bowl, the title seems relatively fitting for the fashion brand.
I’m not suggesting they get the title simply because of the TV ad – honestly the ad was relatively middle of the road if you ask me – but rather how they integrated the ad into every one of their marketing channels.
In addition to the TV ad, H&M wrapped am New York (one of the larger, free daily NYC newspapers) with a near poster-sized image from the commercial, they bought every possible related paid search term and ran Beckham messaging, their homepage quickly launches the ad from the Super Bowl, and heck, DavidBeckham.com even seems to use the same image from the campaign.
While none of this is hard to do, far too many advertisers don’t execute their campaigns nearly this seamlessly (e.g. Go Daddy paid search has no reference to the Super Bowl and searches for Skechers Go Run brings up paid search from their UK campaign), and that leads to wasted ad dollars.
Don’t get me wrong, it is easy to make aligning all your channels difficult.
From working with multiple agencies, to budgeting correctly, to simply getting everyone in the marketing department on the same page, aligning all your marketing efforts can be hard to do. But it doesn’t have to be, and when you break it down to the basics, there are three things that make aligning all your channels relatively simple.
1. Eliminate Channels
When you stop talking about marketing channels and you start talking about the actual marketing idea you are trying to execute, things get simple in a hurry.
For example, do you think H&M went to their search agency and asked them to build a Super Bowl campaign, then went to their print team and asked them to build a Super Bowl strategy, then went to their TV team…you get the point. My guess is no.
Instead they likely approached it by saying “This is what we want to make happen – how can it happen in all channels?”
Approaching campaigns with a goal-first type of approach rather than a channel-first approach will help eliminate a lot of the barriers that tend to pop up when trying to plan cross-channel and will force your partners (whether internal channel managers or external agencies) to provide you with solutions that will help you achieve your goal.
2. Budget Backwards
Budgets are a fact of life, plain and simple. But budgets are also a creative roadblock. If you tell someone to plan a $10 campaign, many people’s minds begin listing all the things they can’t do because they don’t have the $20 budget they were expecting. Whenever you begin strategizing that way, you immediately eliminate things that may be of great value to your campaign.
Instead, try approaching your campaigns with the question “how much budget do we need to execute this idea effectively?”
When you approach your teams with this question, they are more likely to give you a laundry list of all the pieces they think are essential for an effective campaign and how much each one costs. This will leave you with what your budget should be to effectively execute the campaign.
Of course we rarely get all the budget we ask for, so when your CMO tells you things are too expensive, you now have a list of everything you need and can show him/her what you have to cut (and what you will be losing by reducing budget) in order to meet their budget restrictions.
This not only sets expectations with your CMO, but it also lays the groundwork for more support on future projects.
This sounds so basic, but have everyone in marketing, every agency, every channel, and team members at all levels talk to each other. Far too often, marketing teams (both client side and agency side) get stuck in their individual channels and see other channels/agencies as competitors fighting for the same budget. That is unhealthy and unnecessary.
The goal is to build a marketing culture – that includes all internal teams and all external agencies – that is centered on doing what is best for the brand, not the channel. The best part is there is a simple solution: talking.
Get everyone a room together, as often as possible, and talk about what you want to accomplish for the brand collectively. Get everyone used to sharing openly. Get everyone used to talking about helping the brand succeed instead of their channel.
The communication will be rough at first, but the longer it goes, the more open and constructive it will become – which will lead to healthier campaigns, better ideas, and better executions.
This is about the point in the article where you start wondering what kind of idealistic, fantasy world I live in where the above ideas fix everything. Truth is, they won’t fix everything. But what they will do is begin training you, your team, and your agencies to stop thinking about channels and begin thinking about marketing ideas.
The sooner you can effectively change the thinking of your marketing department, the sooner you can begin running truly cross-channel campaigns like H&M instead of ending up being one of those brands that’s left wondering why the $3+ million they spent on a Super Bowl ad didn’t help their business near as much as it was supposed to.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.